top of page

Molecular Functional Imaging Lab (MFIL)


Our Lab

The MFIL team is composed of dedicated researchers coming from diverse biology/ life science disciplines. What unites them is an undying passion for learning and experimentation. Meet them below.


Dr. Abhijit De

Scientific Officer 'G' and Principal Investigator

Dr. De joined ACTREC as a research faculty in the year 2009. His current designation is Principal Investigator and Scientific Officer G and a leading cancer research scientist in India with a focus on Molecular Imaging. He completed PhD in Genetics Lab, Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi in 1998. Then he was a DBT postdoctoral fellow at CCMB, Hyderabad and further postdoctoral training at Crump Institute of Molecular Imaging, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, USA. He has served as a senior researcher in MIPS program established at Dept. of Radiology, Stanford Univ., USA. In 2009, he joined ACTREC as a research faculty and has contributed later in establishing the optical imaging core facility at ACTREC. 

Dr. De’s laboratory is primarily engaged in multidisciplinary research involving pre-clinical molecular imaging, and development of anti-cancer therapeutics including cancer nanomedicine for breast cancer and other major solid tumors. He has published over 100 research articles, reviews, book chapters and Editorials. He holds multiple US and Indian patents, and have filed six Indian patent applications in the last five years. He has experience in leading both academic basic research projects as well as academia-industry collaborative projects.

His favorite topics for teaching and research are gene regulatory mechanisms, protein-protein interaction, in vivo molecular imaging applications, and nanomedicine. He has immensely contribute in this field of live cell BRET imaging for its expansion and application in diverse areas of disease biology. One of his pioneering works is the invention of in vivo BRET, which was granted US patent right and was licensed from Stanford University, USA. Very recently the group has designed multiple new BRET pairs and functional reporter sensors, demonstrating use as multiplexed screening option of target specific cancer drug molecules.


I have completed my Bachelor`s and Master’s degree in Microbiology from Shivaji University, Kolhapur and I have been awarded the CSIR Shyama Prasad Mukherjee fellowship. By joining ACTREC PhD program in 2017, I am working on novel mushroom luciferase reporter-based molecular imaging applications and cellular assay development in cancer.

Aaiyas Mujawar


Chetna Patnaik


chetna 1_edited_edited.jpg

I have completed B.Sc. in Biotechnology from Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology and Masters in Life Science from National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela, Odisha. I joined ACTREC for PhD in 2019 and working on developing novel photothermal nanomaterial for cancer ablation. 


Mansi Joshi


I have completed B.Sc. in Life Sciences from Kumaun University, Almora and M.Sc. in Biotechnology (under JNU biotechnology program) from Dept. of Biotechnology, Kumaun University, Nainital. Joined the lab in 2019 and my PhD research is to understand how noncanonical phospho-serine STAT3 PTM drives oncogenic signalling in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).


Shivali Mishra


I pursued Bachelor degree in Biochemistry from Mithibai College, Mumbai, and Masters in Biochemistry from KEM Hospital and Seth G.S Medical College, Mumbai. Joined the lab in 2020 and my PhD research is to understand the mechanisms of drug resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer with an emphasis on cellular plasticity.



Sulagna Rath

I have completed Master's degree in Life Sciences from Bose Institute, Kolkata. I joined the lab in 2021 to study the role of immune remodeling after photothermal therapy in Immuno-competent mouse models.


Shaonlee Ghosh


I pursued Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Zoology from the University of Calcutta. Joined the lab in 2022 and my research work at the lab focuses on the underlying mechanism of STAT3 feedback activation, impacting resistance to HER2 targeted drugs in Breast cancer.


Anuradha Gupta


I completed B.Sc. in Microbiology at SSR College of Arts, Commerce & Science, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Silvassa and Master's degree from Modern College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Savitribai Phule Pune University. Joined the lab in 2022  and my work focuses on the homologous targeting of breast cancer stem cells employing biomimetic nanoparticles for photothermal therapy.


Janvi Patel


I have pursued 5 years Integrated Master's in Cell and Molecular Biology from Dr Vikram Sarabhai Institute of Cell & Molecular Biology, M.S. University, Baroda. I joined MFIL Lab in August 2023. My PhD work is focused on understanding the effect of a small molecule kinase inhibitor Tucatinib in targeted drug therapy-resistant breast cancer.


Renu Malhotra

Scientific Assistant D



Chetan Boir




Snehal Valvi

Scientific Assistant C

MI Core Facility

Lab Alumni

Dr. Pranay Dey

Completed PhD in 2023; currently PostDoctoral Scientist at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland


Dr. Sumit Mishra

Completed PhD in 2022; currently PostDoctoral Fellow at Liver Cancer Program, UT Southwestern Medical Centre, Dallas, USA

Dr. Arijit Mal

Completed PhD in 2021; currently Postdoctoral Fellow at Kidney Cancer Program, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA

Dr. Maitreyi Rathod

Completed PhD in 2020; Awarded Outstanding Doctoral Student Award 2021.

Currently PostDoctoral Fellow at Department of Biomedicine University of Basel, Switzerland

Dr. Shalini Dimri

Completed PhD in 2020; Awarded HBNI-J.B. Joshi Endowment Innovation Award for PhD Scholars in 2021

Currently PostDoctoral Fellow at Technion-Israel Institution of Technology, Haifa, Israel

Dr. Madhura Kelkar

Completed PhD in 2017; ​PostDoctoral Fellow at ICMR National Institute of Immunohematology, Mumbai, India

Dr. Sushmita Chatterjee

Completed PhD 2016; joined as PostDoctoral Fellow at Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Recently joined as Principal Scientist at Eurofins Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad, India


Project SRF; currently working as Research Scientist and Biosafety Officer at Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Canada


Dr. Soumya Basu

DBT Research Associate 2013-'14; ​​currently working as Associate Professor at D Y Patil Vidyapith, Pune, India

Dr. Shruti Dutta

DST Woman Scientist 2014-'17; recently joined as Senior Manager, Epigeneres Biotech, Mumbai, India

Dr. Swathi Raju

TMC Research Associate 2019-'21​​; currently working in industry at Hyderabad, India

bottom of page